Sci/tech

Soil database to help map CO2 storage, food output
July 22, 2008 12:11 PM - Reuters

New database of the world's soils will help better map agricultural output and storage and sequestration of heat trapping carbon dioxide (CO2), one of its creators, the United Nations' food agency FAO, said on Monday.

Brazil harnesses space tech to monitor deforestation
July 22, 2008 11:40 AM - , SciDevNet

Brazil will launch a satellite in 2011 to monitor deforestation and urban expansion around the world, it has been announced. Amazônia-1 will carry a UK-made high resolution camera. The United Kingdom–Brazil collaboration was announced last week (14 July) at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society for Progress in Science.

Shell Revives Age Old Lime To Oceans Project In A Bid To Combat Global Warming
July 22, 2008 10:25 AM - , Triple Pundit

's been a while since the last big to-do about adding limestone to the planet's oceanic waters, but researchers sponsored by oil company Shell are saying that they've found the ultimate solution this time. Adding limestone extracts to the surface of the planet's oceans will dramatically lower the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is because adding lime to seawater creates an increase in alkalinity, which in turn improves the water's ability to scrub the air clean of carbon.

Snubbing of local journals skews research
July 21, 2008 11:59 AM - , SciDevNet

Researchers' preference for publishing in globally recognised journals is skewing the direction of scientific inquiry away from local research, writes Priya Shetty in New Scientist. In areas such as healthcare, agriculture and the environment it leads them to prioritise global research that may not meet the needs of individual countries. The problem stems from the vicious circle in which local developing country journals find themselves trapped: because researchers see little value in publishing in them, they lack the high-quality papers required to attract authors.

UAE academy to tackle regional water shortages
July 21, 2008 11:12 AM - , SciDevNet

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched an Arab Water Academy (AWA) to tackle water shortages in the region that will increase as a result of climate change.

Missing fossils could warn of extreme climate to come.
July 18, 2008 10:32 AM - New Scientists

Did the tropics overheat during the Eocene some 55 to 34 million years ago? The answer holds the key to how our planet will respond to global warming, according to one climate researcher. The Earth went through a prolonged phase of extremely high temperatures during the Eocene, in which even the poles were ice-free.

Fuel cell cars still 15 years away at best: study
July 18, 2008 10:13 AM - Reuters

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are still 15 years away from becoming a viable business for automakers even if they overcome remaining technical hurdles and the U.S. government provides massive subsidies, a government-funded report said on Thursday.

Windows That Double As Solar Panels
July 18, 2008 09:32 AM - , MetaEfficient

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years.

New Exchange For Trading Home-Brewed Biofuels
July 17, 2008 11:09 AM - , Global Warming is Real

Industrially produced biofuels are wildly controversial but it’s very easy to produce good stuff yourself. Small businesses and even individuals are getting into producing their own biodiesel en masse. There’s even a new exchange now on which producers can sell their surplus diesel to interested parties.

Laos sunshine turns villagers green
July 16, 2008 12:11 PM - , SciDevNet

Only 48 per cent of Laotians are connected to the electrical grid. Access to electricity is limited due to lack of infrastructure and high costs so most rural communities rely on environmentally unfriendly energy sources, such as firewood and kerosene. Solar-powered systems are a logical alternative but start-up costs are high.

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